Jittery Austrian scientists have been assured that their ongoing research projects will continue to be financed, despite uncertainties over whether this year's science budget will be slashed by 40%.
The letter from Christoph Kratky, the president of the FWF, Austria's research agency, also said that no one will get a pay rise, and no new projects will be approved until the government makes its intentions clear.
Austria has been pumping up its research expenditure with special funds for several years. In 2006 it ranked fifth in research intensity among the 27 member states of the European Union. But plans to eliminate these funding pots to help fight the financial crisis were leaked from the new government when it took office in December. It is scheduled to make a final decision in April.
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